2022 Santa’s ‘Nice’ Crypto List – Decrypt

The cryptocurrency industry saw the end of a bull run and the start of a brutal bear market this year, and some companies struggled while others prospered. Two major collapses, that of Terra and FTX, had a significant impact on the price performance of the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization and sent shockwaves throughout the industry.

While some major figures made decisions or statements that put them on the villain list, others remained focused on their respective missions and continued to bring hope to the industry. Crypto Santa is happy with these leaders. (Click here for this year naughty list.)

Vitalik Buterin

As co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin played a vital role in the development of the blockchain. Ethereum’s move from the energy-intensive proof-of-work blockchain to proof-of-stake had been anticipated for years, and many wondered if it would work at all. But Buterin and the Ethereum development team succeeded Merge at the beginning of September.

Despite all the bear market chaos, Buterin has continued to be a strong voice of reason in the crypto industry. When FTX collapsed, Buterin criticized those who wished to abandon all the values ​​held by Sam Bankman-Fried (Bankman-Fried was known for living below his means and being a vegan, among other things). While acknowledging Bankman-Fried’s manipulation of the concept of “effective altruism,” Buterin urged Crypto Twitter to stay level-headed and not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Buterin also criticized traders speculating in governance tokens, arguing that manipulating the price and ownership of governance tokens was “pathologicaland goes against the ethics of these tokens. And Buterin is also not afraid to criticize Bitcoiners – he pointed out that many ignored The undemocratic government of El Salvador because they were blindsided by the promise of mass Bitcoin adoption.

Jack Dorsey

Twitter founder and longtime Bitcoiner Jack Dorsey has largely stayed on the sidelines this year, but he has continued to defend decentralized social media and private life. As CEO of Block, Dorsey revealed plans for an irony »Web5” this year, which aims to offer self-curated data and take an entirely different approach to the global web. Dorsey remains a critic of Web3, but his consistent stance seems to stem from genuine concern for the future of technology.

Edward Snowden

Although Edward Snowden may be a controversial figure, he continued to champion individual privacy rights. This year it emerged that Snowden was involved in creating the privacy-focused cryptocurrency ZCash.

In an interview with DecryptSnowden also took a strong stance against US sanctions imposed on Ethereum mixer Tornado Cash, calling the move “deeply authoritarian.” He also raised concerns about the amount of user identity data exchanges like Coinbase required to use their services, and remained a strong supporter of cryptocurrency when used to promote privacy and security. freedom of exchange for users.

Wylie Aronow and Greg Solano

Wylie Aronow and Greg Solano, two of the four founders of Bored Ape Yacht Club and Yuga Labs, have had quite the year. NFT sales for their upcoming metaverse game Other side saw a shocking $561 million within 24 hours, causing the Ethereum network to crawl. Just two months later, they allowed some users to explore an early version of their game as “first trip.” They held a successful and star-studded “Apefest” concert for Ape NFT holders and launched a DAO and altcoin called “Apecoin” for their community. Aronow and Solano also started donate NFT CryptoPunks to art museums with the aim of educating the public about Web3 and cementing the status of NFTs as digital works of art.

Aronow and Solano continued to work on their vision despite a barrage of half-baked Nazis conspiracy theories and a SEC investigation This year. No matter what you think of these two co-founders, they have undoubtedly stood their ground in their community and are working at a breakneck pace to make their dreams a reality.

Ryan Wyatt

In January, Ryan Wyatt left his role from Head of Gaming at YouTube to becoming CEO of Polygon Studios, a company focused on bringing Web3 projects to the Ethereum sidechain. In less than a year, Polygon has seen a huge increase in mainstream adoption of brands like Starbucks, Reddit and instagram.

Wyatt also remained charismatic and professional on social media, offering his help move projects from the Terra blockchain to Polygon when the Terra ecosystem collapsed in May this year. As we enter 2023, Wyatt is likely to remain a key player in the Web3 gaming space and a voice of reason for gamers who still struggle to understand NFTs.

justin blue

DJ and electronic music producer Justin “3LAU” Blau can now add CEO, co-founder and entrepreneur to his roster. Since his music rights NFT marketplace Royal funding raised In 2021, the royal team has been busy releasing major releases by big-name artists and growing its NFT marketplace. In November, the forecast the marketplace has gone live despite the ongoing bear market, a move that shows Royal’s commitment to realizing its vision for Web3 music.

Blau has also become a key advocate for Web3, integrating and inspiring musicians like his friends. Steve Aoki and Francois Dillon. What’s next for Royal? In an interview, Blau said Decrypt that Royal is likely to release a mobile app – and the startup will do its best to sidestep Apple’s controversial issue 30% in-app purchase fee to keep NFTs affordable for fans and profitable for artists.

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao

In a rare feat, Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao did both our “Naughty” and “Nice” lists this year, mainly because the exec hasn’t been shy about sharing his hot views on Crypto Twitter.

You could see his”recent revelations“tweet that caused FTT to be sold that knocked FTX off as more damaging than helpful to the industry, but the other view on this is that he wisely called FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried long before the collapse of FTX (including saying about our gm podcast that SBF’s attempts to replenish companies in difficulty were deals he would not have closed).

CZ also remained calm and collected throughout the bear market, repeatedly stating that bear markets are “healthy” for long-term crypto and filter out bad actors in the industry. According to CZ, only the good will survive.

Binance extended in Europe this year, increasing the overall chance of mass crypto adoption. And a recent independent audit verified that Binance’s Bitcoin reserves are more than sufficient, which means the exchange is likely in good financial health.

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